February 23, 2011

Sister Act . . .

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Me and my sister on the shore of Lake Erie.

Erin recently asked:

You’ve documented on your blog about your sister (from finding out you had a sister to your reunion and beyond) and it seems like you two have really bonded. Has the transition from 3 siblings to 4 been as easy for the rest of the family?

In July it will be three years since I learned that I had a sister. Three years to begin to catch up on thirty-six missed years.  Some days I look at the past three years and realize we have settled into a regular pattern of phone calls, visits, emails, etc., just like with any other member of my family. There is safety, familiarity and comfort in it and it warms me like a favorite blanket wrapped around my shoulders on a cold day.

Other days it is hard for me to believe it has been almost three whole years because so much of what happens between us is still so new.  I was actually with her this past weekend at her home in Ohio.  For the first time in our sisterhood we stood next to one another in a bathroom doing our hair and putting on our make up.  I know millions of sisters across the span of space and time have done this together. But for me, this was a first. It was a moment.  And it was HUGE.

It is very hard for me to try to represent the feelings of the other members of my family in relation to our reunion with our sister.  I can only speak from my perspective.  For me, it has been and continues to be a beautiful, grace filled and complex experience.

Initially I struggled with the magnitude of the knowledge that I had a sister.  I’d been the only daughter sandwiched between two brothers my entire life and that was a very large part of my identity and played a great part in making me who I am today. When that changed without my consent, I had to adapt my way of thinking and being.  And it was not easy because I am human.

But after I got through the initial shock and emotion, I was able to look beyond myself and see a bigger picture that included my sister in my life forever.  I have chosen to spend the past almost three years getting to know her and making her an integral part of my life.  I can honestly say that  it has been a truly happy time for me. It doesn’t hurt that my sister happens to be a genuine and beautiful soul.

As you can imagine, a situation like this is not without its complicated aspects.  I like to compare it to an intricate web spun with threads of delicate emotions woven around the hearts of sensitive people. There are birth families and adoptive families and in-law families and each plays a part in the story. Each of those parts is real and relevant and constantly evolving. 

If I had to sum up the overall experience of my family {the birth family} I would have to say that we have done and will continue to do the best we can to be loving, accepting and true to our sister. She has made our family, which was already pretty darn great, even better and I am so grateful she chose to find us. 

I hope this answers your question, Erin.  Thanks for asking.  Come back tomorrow to see something awesome that came in the mail yesterday.  And I mean AWESOME.

9 comments:

tktakesphotos said...

You both look so beautiful in that picture.

It's hard for me to grasp that it's been three years since I since I learned about Melissa. I remember vividly looking at a photo of the four of you and thinking she fits. She completes the puzzle.

Okay I'm stopping now before I start crying.

Apis Melliflora said...

When the complicated parts start to overwhelm me, I return to the simple, the true and pure: love. That is the tie that binds us all together.

What a sweet post to start me on my day.

That picture warms my heart {but chills my hands, cheeks and nose.}

AllisonK said...

So lovely! Words can not express the thoughts of my heart.

west wind said...

a lovely photo and a lovely post. i know right where that stone arch is, and i'll be there this weekend!

Kasey said...

Great photo. I'm so glad to hear that you are embracing your sister and she is doing the same. Sisterhood is such a special bond.

Aiketa said...

I am so happy for you, Apis, the Queen and the rest of your family for being able to find each other and making the most of your time together.
As commented above, sisterhood is something really special. Enjoy it!

You both look so pretty in that picture!

Princesa said...

Darling post. I hope that we can one day meet this sister. :) She is my cousin of some sorts too right? You are both amazingly beautiful.

The Queen Vee said...

You two are no act but the real deal, sisters! I love you both More!

Apis Melliflora said...

I'm so glad you wrote this. I like to re-read it from time to time. Like a touchstone.